Paving the path to advocacy

May 2014

There is no such thing as a single decision maker when it comes to purchasing business to business technology products, services and solutions. That’s one finding taken from new research by integrated communications agency, Text100, which reveals the uphill struggle faced by technology companies as they seek to sell to an increasingly multifaceted and diverse audience.
 
The Text100 Influence Index: Paving the Path to Advocacy explores how global business-to-business decision makers are influenced as they consider buying technology products, services and solutions. According to the report, the insight is presented with the aim of helping technology suppliers form effective marketing and communication strategies that drive business growth by turning potential customers into advocates. The study – based on interviews with 1,900 information technology (IT) decision makers worldwide – reveals the five most influential sources of information (above). Elsewhere, the report finds that, on average, six people are involved in the purchasing decision-making process in businesses globally. What’s more, at every stage of the purchasing process – from awareness through to taking action – decision-makers care about cost more than any other factor: hardly surprising in these budget-restricted times.
 
Another sign of caution: although 55% of companies have the head of IT involved making the final decision, 42% require the chief executive officer/managing director to sign off and 22% require their board of directors to sign off. But only half (53%) of decision makers worldwide would first turn to an existing supplier when faced with a business challenge, suggesting a level of dissatisfaction with the status quo, perhaps. This report provides a fascinating glimpse into the increasingly complex decision-making environment, and emphasises the critical need for suppliers to present a balance of relevant technical and business content when engaging with multiple decision-makers throughout the buyer’s journey. It might even help you evaluate the advocacy process within your own organisation.  

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